Minisplit installation – indoor unit

While the vacuum pump is cranking away, let’s take a look at the indoor unit installation.

The indoor unit is also referred to as the evaporator, because of the phase change that takes place in the refrigerant when in cooling mode. It is a box (compact wall unit) measuring roughly 36 by 12 by 12 inches.

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The location of the compact wall unit had been determined during the rough-in. We placed it centrally located on the south wall in the dining room.


The central location is key as there is no duct system that distributes the cool air (thus the term ductless minisplit). But with the cool air discharged from the compact wall unit in the dining room, it also reaches the living room, bedrooms and kitchen. That said, we may need to use a fan to facilitate the distribution of the cool air across the rooms.


Our installer, James Pruyn, started by mounting the wall hook bracket onto which the compact wall unit will hang.

The recommended clearance for the compact wall unit is two and a half inches or greater from the ceiling and six feet or greater from the floor. We executed the rough-in of the cooling lines and condensate drain accordingly and have a ten inch clearance from the ceiling and eight foot two inch clearance from the floor.

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During the installation, we ran into a couple of flaws in the compact wall unit that are worthwhile mentioning.

The screws on the electrical terminals for the wire connections stripped. Thanks to James’ improv skills, we managed to get the wires safely connected after all.

At the end of the installation, James advised me to keep a very close eye on the condensation line once I turned the minisplit on. He connected the line from the wall unit to the line I had roughed in. But he pointed out that the provided barbed connection was very flimsy and suspected that it may leak.

And he was spot on. The connection was not watertight. Our solution was to fit a barbed coupling into the flimsy barbed connection that came with the unit. We got it watertight with a little bit of teflon tape and a screw clamp.

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About Marcus de la fleur

Marcus is a Registered Landscape Architect with a horticultural degree from the School of Horticulture at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and a Masters in Landscape Architecture from the University of Sheffield, UK. He developed a landscape based sustainable pilot project at 168 Elm Ave. in 2002, and has expanded his skill set to building science. Starting in 2009, Marcus applied the newly acquired expertise to the deep energy retrofit of his 100+ year old home in Chicago.

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